Thursday, August 2, 2012

Frugal Vacationing but not Quite Staycationing!

Growing up my family didn't really go on vacation. After my dad got sick and couldn't work any longer, my family really didn't have the money to go on a vacation. Even if there had been extra money at the time, there were four young children in the house; I'm not quite sure dragging four young kids screaming through a theme park or on a luxurious, sandy beached resort is most parents' idea of a vacation.

Photo Credit

So my idea of a vacation may be very different from the typical person's idea. Camping is my thing. It can be as laid back or as elaborate as you want it to be. You can sleep out in a tent on a sleeping bag, or an air mattress or even a cot. Or you can rent an RV and sleep on a more comfortable real-life mattress! You can eat weenies and burgers cooked on a stick or you can have steak and seafood on the grill. I love that camping can be totally what you make of it and can be mostly adapted to your level of need and desire.

And best of all, it can be inexpensive! Here are the 2012 fees to camp locally in a state park.


MA Residents: Range from $6/night for primitive campgrounds (think the most rustic camping possible in a campground - pit toilets, no showers, no drinking water access) all the way through $15/night for coastal campgrounds (right near the beach with gorgeous views and with tons of amenities like camp stores in the campground, flush toilets, showers (even hot ones!) and even water/electric hook up and dumping stations for RVs).

MA Non-Residents: There's only a $2/night increase for each type of campground for being a non-resident.

Rhode Island:

Rhode Island doesn't have as fancy a fee system for state park camping as Massachusetts.
  • A regular tent site: $14/night
  • A trailer/RV site with water & electric hookup (where available): $18/night
  • A trailer/RV site with water, electric & sewer hookup (where available): $20/night

I had the pleasure of camping at Nickerson State Park in Brewster, MA in early to mid-July for a week. I spent the first half of the week with my mom and the latter half of the week with my husband. Two of his friends came up the last two nights of our trip and stayed at a campsite across the park road from us.

Frog pond; lots o' lilly pads

Teeny, tiny baby frog!

Ignore my dirty fingers; semi large bug. He met his untimely demise after flying into our campfire shortly after.

Our friend, Nick, eating weenies cooked on a stick.

Trying to be romantical; watching the sunset from the beach.

We paid $15/night and could drive around Cape Cod all day and enjoy all that Cape Cod had to offer without paying the ridiculous hotel rates... The summer rates for the Cape are RIDICULOUS! Some nights we had hamburgers and hot dogs, and other nights we ate more luxuriously - shrimp mozambique, steak tips and marinaded pork chops. Of course, I bought all these pricey food items at a fraction of their value because I planned ahead, shopped using sales and used my coupons whenever I could!

Since state parks, for the most part, allow pets accompanied by updated rabies vaccination documentation, my mom was able to bring her pooch Molly, who had more fun swimming and canoeing than I did!

Happy Couponing!
-Coupon Mama Massachusetts
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